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by Keith Good, University of Illinois' FarmDoc project

Jack Nicas and André Spigariol reported in today's New York Times that, "When the first Russian missiles struck Ukraine, the reverberations were felt 6,500 miles away, on the vast Brazilian farms that grow much of the world's soybeans.

"Russia supplies a quarter of Brazil's fertilizers, and sanctions meant to punish Moscow for its invasion threatened to trap the crucial commodity from being exported. That posed a danger not only to the Brazilian economy, but also to the world's ability to feed itself.

"Within days, Brazilian officials warned farmers to cut back on a critical fertilizer, and experts forecast that the country - one of the largest exporters of corn, soybeans, sugar and coffee - had just three months before it ran out.

Now, two months later, Brazil is replenishing its fertilizer stockpiles - with help from Russia. Much like the Russian gas that has been flowing through pipelines into Europe, hundreds of thousands of tons of Russian fertilizer have arrived in Brazil since the invasion. And more is on its way.

Nicas and Spigariol explained that, "Brazil scrambled to buy Russian fertilizer just ahead of the invasion to keep shipments coming early in the war. And though the purchase of Russian fertilizer itself has not been banned, Brazilian buyers have had to contend with sanctions on Russian banks and logistical hurdles that experts feared would still cut off trade.

"But buyers have managed to find ways around those obstacles, including using a Russian bank excluded from sanctions and getting an assist from Citigroup in New York."

To read the entire article click here.

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